The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights is concerned about employers' refusal to hire job applicants because of criminal convictions from long in the past and the harsh impact that practice may have on African-American and Latino job applicants. People who have convictions that are at least seven years old and who have been denied employment because of their criminal record in the last 300 days should contact the Lawyers' Committee to discuss the possibility of bringing a civil rights lawsuit challenging the practice. Contact Paul Strauss, via phone (312) 630-9744 ext. 229, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next steps in hiring class members in the Lewis v. Chicago firefighters case are going forward. Lewis is a race discrimination case involving the discriminatory use of an unjustified cut-off score in a test given in 1995 for hiring Chicago firefighters. As a result of the case, 111 African-American class members will be hired as firefighters. To move forward in hiring those class members, the City will mail notice to class members, asking them if they want to be considered for the firefighter job. That mailing is expected to go out on September 12, 2011. Class members who are interested in the job will be asked to return postcards stating that they want a chance to be selected for the job.
Class members who are not hired will receive a share of the damages awarded in the case. The amount of those damages has not yet been calculated.